Reading about some of the leads in this thread: Least Plausible Protagonist? made me wonder: does anyone else not watch certain episodes because you, for any reason, just can’t watch the movie?
There are a few for me, but the big one is High School Big Shot. The main character is just too pathetic and it’s depressing watching him suffer the whole movie through. The lead actor, Tom Pittman died in a car crash at 26, and apparently was good in other movies. But in this movie, every second he’s on screen I get sad. If there are great jokes in this episode, I’ll probably never see them.
Ashamed to admit I struggle to get through Red Zone Cuba. To me the whole thing is poorly done, but not in a funny way—more like a nobody cared what they were making way.
For me, it’s Kitten With A Whip. I just can’t do it. The entire movie is based on increasing embarrassment and cringe. Decent upstanding guy trying to do the right thing, and she just sets him up over and over, basically ruining his life piece by piece. It’s painful to watch. I don’t like cringe humor of any kind. I can’t find it funny or entertaining. I’m too busy empathizing with the person being embarrassed. And it’s worse when the movie goes out of its way to show you that it’s entirely undeserved. There’s just no way the riffing can make that watchable.
Comedy comes first for me, and I’ve never met an episode completely devoid of laughs. Despite the darkness, High School Big Shot makes me laugh, a lot. So comedy wins out on that one. And despite what a slog it is, Starfighters also makes me laugh, a lot.
Saying that - while there aren’t any episodes I WON’T watch, there are movies that do kick my tail.
Strange Creatures makes me feel grimy, I don’t enjoy that one. Sidehackers is unpleasant and difficult to sit through. RZC has got some killer riffs, but yeah, it gets really ugly as it goes (rape and murder)
There are a few where they’re really trying but the movie is like walking through quicksand. Castle of Fu Manchu and San Francisco International are kinda like that for me.
I have sat through Hamlet all the way twice. Both on attempts to do full watch-throughs of the whole show. Both times I had to do it in chunks. It’s sooooooo boring.
From the original series I almost never watch Squirm because it’s just too disgusting for me. I’m not squeamish about gory special effects, but the actual worms make my skin crawl.
In the new series I almost never queue up Mac and Me (it’s just such a pathetic and artless product placement piece) and Atlantic Rim (the writing is appalling and the protagonists doubly so). Basically I don’t want either of these films persisting in memory, even with good riffing over them.
Castle of Fu Manchu is my least favorite episode of the series, and the only one that I’m REALLY not keen on revisiting because the movie is so ferociously dull and incomprehensible (even by MST3K standards). That’s not to say that I won’t watch it, but I don’t have it in my rotation very often.
I revisited High School Big Shot recently, but it’s something I don’t do very often at all, as it’s something of a difficult watch for me. It’s like the death of Carrie in The Girl in Lovers Lane but spread out over an entire film. I’m not saying that MST3K shouldn’t have dark movies; there are examples all throughout the series about how much amazing mileage they get out of dark movies (with a nod to some particularly effective gems in Season 6). At the same time, it feels like there needs to be the right balance of darkness and levity, and High School Big Shot overwhelms that balance with its grimness. Thank goodness that the episode has that specialty breads short, YIKES.
It says a lot that I find HAMLET less depressing and easier to revisit than High School Big Shot.
Sidehackers. Classic it may be to some, the fact they had to cut a torture / rape / murder scene is an automatic turnoff. At least they made sure to screen the movies in the future.
The “Catching Trouble” short and “The Painted Hills”. I know those animals are all long gone, but animals suffering for my entertainment is a firm “no” from me every time.
The only extant one I haven’t seen all the way through is Fu Manchu…it’s narcoleptic. A film sedative for me. (That’s excluding seasons 11-12: I haven’t seen all of those and am not likely to).
On don’t/extremely rarely watch again? Things like Hellcats, Sidehackers, Gold Boots Girl, Red Zone Cuba (despite loving the two other CF movies), Painted Hills (the heck do I care about some darned detective dog?), Hamlet, High School Big Shot (just boring grimy little movie), Hercules/Macheesteak movies (I’d still watch those yet again, but lower on the list).
San Fran Int’l (dull, ugly, mushy), Mitchell (compared to the far superior Final Justice), Parts/Clonus.
Most things from the 1970s or late 1960s in color are nasty to me.
I’m never going to watch Mac and Me: why would I sit through a commercial for a “restaurant” that gives me anal leakage?
Of the Shorts I clipped out of the movies? The ones that feature some fancy lady shrieking and dancing about some bullcrud cars or whatever. Catching animals one. Many of the ones from the 1970s. I just skip those, including the RT ones, but there are many exceptions.
Because it’s probably the funniest episode of that season.
I have tried to watch The Starfighters and Red Zone Cuba and I have never made it all the way through because I fall asleep and give up. There’s a ton of movies I won’t watch, though, because they’re just too horrible a movie. Kitten with a Whip, High School Big Shot, Girl in Gold Boots… Oddly for me, if I wouldn’t watch the movie without riffing, I kinda don’t want to watch it with riffing. Unfortunately, that applies to those Teenagers movies that Bridget and Mary Jo have done on Rifftrax, I want to watch it because the two of them are hilarious, but… I just can’t.
There’s some I’ve actually slogged through to hear the jokes, then I put them in that “never need to see this again” pile. (Mac and Me, Painted Hills… how did I get through those lol)
That said, I have watched Hamlet multiple times, on purpose, and LOLd all the way through. I almost put that as my favorite on the profile
Sometimes the movie is just too dull for me and I lose interest, even with the riffs. Generally, things like Castle of Fu Manchu, Hamlet, Skydivers, Kitten With a Whip, etc. don’t grab me. I’m more about the cheesy monsters, sci-fi fun, and fantasy epics. Or weird kid flicks. Still, I’m sure I’ve sat through the ones I’d mentioned, they just don’t register for me.
Hmm, there’s no episode I won’t watch, but some can be a slog to get through. Hamlet tops that list for me. I’ve seen it all in pieces but I don’t think I’ve ever managed to watch the whole thing in one go, it’s like a sedative. In the context of the show’s premise, it’s great – a classic story that’s been mangled almost beyond recognition.
I’m surprised to see Girl in Gold Boots getting grief here; that’s one of my favorites, with particularly strong riffing I think.
Tastes are certainly an individualistic thing. Two of the most frequently cited movies here - Hamlet and Red Zone Cuba - are among my favorite (re)watches. But then I also love German Expressionism and nihilistic darkness.
I heard from a good friend that Strange Creatures has several transphobic jokes, and I know I’d be uncomfortable trying to sit through that. It’s the one episode I’ll probably never watch.
That one does feel more like a Rifftrax episode than MST3K, given the amount of ugly commentary in it. In their defense, it’s a rather ugly and hateful movie as well.
And hard to understand thanks to the garbled audio track.